Chimera: A Jim Chapel Mission

David Wellington. Morrow, $24.99 (432p) ISBN 978-0-06-224877-0

Genetically designed savages known as chimera, named after the hybrid monsters of Greek myth, make trouble in this inventive thriller from Wellington (Monster Island). Four of these big fellows—whose DNA is 99% human, with the remainder coming from chimpanzees, rattlesnakes, and water bears—have escaped from a military prison camp in upstate New York. Pentagon officials know the creatures intend to kill eight people across the country, including a judge recently nominated for the Supreme Court. The task of stopping the beasts falls to Capt. Jim Chapel, a one-armed Afghanistan war veteran who works for the army’s Intelligence and Security Command. Chapel is tough, but his quarry is tougher, and he must also contend with the CIA and the folks who designed the experiment that created the chimera. While the overwritten romantic elements distract, the constant action and novel concept will satisfy fans of this subgenre. Agent: Russell Galen, Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency. (Aug.)
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